Yesterday it was announced that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has resulted in Qatar travel restrictions being brought into force that affect passengers from Italy, amongst other countries. As of yesterday, all passengers arriving at Doha on direct flights from Italy or having been in Italy in the past 2 weeks will be taken straight to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.
Like many other parties active in the MotoGP paddock, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team would be heavily affected by these travel restrictions, as its headquarters is based in Gerno di Lesmo, in Lombardy, Italy.
Though the team and its riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi are disappointed not to be able to open the 2020 MotoGP season this week at the Losail International Circuit, there's a consensus that health and safety should come first.
The Moto2 and Moto3 sessions at the Qatar GP will continue as planned as the riders and teams were already at the Losail track for the Qatar Test held from 28 Feb – 1 Mar.
The ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus also has consequences for the second MotoGP round. The OR Thailand Grand Prix, originally planned for 20–22 March, has been postponed by the Thai government for all MotoGP classes. The FIM, IRTA, and Dorna are currently evaluating if an alternative date will be possible.